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Enter a beautiful world haunted by its fateful past and join a party of unlikely heroes on their journey to rescue Amon's uncle from an ancient cult and uncover the secret of the Earthkey.
Enter a beautiful world haunted by its fateful past and join a party of unlikely heroes on their journey to rescue Amon's uncle from an ancient cult and uncover the secret of the Earthkey.
4,506 backers pledged $178,193 to help bring this project to life.

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The joy of turn based combat!

Posted by Snowcastle Games (Creator)
40 likes
Going back to the roots...
Going back to the roots...

We wanted to give you all a closer look at the combat systems. In this update we'll detail a little more about how combat works currently and future plans for improvements.

Please keep in mind that all of the systems detailed here may change during development based on feedback and testing.

We chose to go with turn based combat, first and foremost, because we all have fond memories of playing games featuring turn based combat. We wanted a strategic approach to combat and to let the players be able to take the time to think about their next move rather than stressing them out with active time hybrid models or real time combat. There is nothing wrong with either of the latter models, but we feel that turn based combat is a good fit for Earthlock.

  • Turn based combat: plan your moves rather than reacting 
  • Combat Pairs access unique pair abilities 
  • Chaining of elemental attacks 
  • Enemy states change during combat 
  • Full control over all pairs during combat 

Combat Pairs 

To make more variations to the normal combat team setup, we have paired two and two player characters.

  • Pairs are composed of one Warrior and one Protector 
  • Warriors are the main damage dealers 
  • Protectors buff, debuff and heal. 
  • Some protectors also have offensive abilities.

We have capped the team at three pairs at the moment, but the system can easily be expanded should we wish to do so.

When pairing two party members, they become one battle unit with shared health and stats. You can swap the protectors and this will greatly affect the pair stats. For example you can pair a protector with high magic stats and a warrior with high attack stats to create an all round team or you could pair two characters with high magic stats to make a strong magical team. This will allow for you to customize combat tactics depending on how you enjoy playing.

Revive - VFX by Supergenius
Revive - VFX by Supergenius

Special Combo Abilities

The warriors and protector pairs when combined in different ways grant each other unique abilities that will greatly affect the combat when facing larger enemies and bosses. For example, Ive and Taika have a combined electricity and wind attack called “Perfect Storm”, which will only be available when pairing Taika and Ive. Pairing Taika with Amon instead will yield another type of combination ability. These abilities will have both characters work together to perform them and consume a lot more SP than other normal abilities.

  • Meet new playable characters as you explore Umbra
  • New playable characters means more available pairing options
  • More pairing options means more combo abilities
  • Bond system - pairs for stronger the longer they are paired

We have an idea for an ability tree for each unique pair. Some of the abilities gained will be transferrable when you pair up new characters, but some will only be available to each unique pair.

Status Effects System

  • Status effects give positive or negative effects to yourself or your enemies
  • Immunities will negate some effects
  • Status effects can last complete combat, a few rounds or until healed or counteracted

These effects can modify your health like Poison or Regeneration or modify other stats like Shield adds to the defence stat or Darkness reduces the attack stat. Abilities can also add types of elemental status effects described in the next section.

Elemental System

The elemental system is the classical system where an attack can have a type of element associated with it and if the target has a weakness towards that type of element the attack will have a much larger effect.

Crablers go into their defensive mode after a series of ice-attacks.
Crablers go into their defensive mode after a series of ice-attacks.

An example would be that an Ice Attack will deal much more damage to a Fire type enemy, as we have shown in the GIF above.

We are trying to incorporate the system so that all or at least most of the abilities will have a type of element and a lot of the tactics when fighting is figuring out what type of element the enemy is weak against. The type of element can be indicated through the look of the enemy, the area the player is in or even be completely hidden on some enemies.

Damage chart
Damage chart

The 10 ‘elements’ defined at the moment are:

  • Ice
  • Fire
  • Electro
  • Wind
  • Earth
  • Water
  • Dark
  • Light
  • Psy
  • Sonic

Abilities with certain elements can have a chance of inflicting what we call an Elemental Status Effect.

  • Chain elements to achieve greater damage
  • Example: Fire Pearl causes "heated", follow-up Wind Spud causes "Blaze" for added damage
Stacking abilities - VFX by Supergenius
Stacking abilities - VFX by Supergenius

These elemental status effects will not last long though so you will need be fast with the chaining attack. The goal is to create enough depth in the tactical combat to keep things interesting for a long time. In order to use any magical attack you will need to bring the right ammo. And to get the ammo you will need to grow it.

Weapons

The game will feature a wide variety of weapons for each Warrior, but we do not want the weapons to become outdated as soon as you obtain a new and better one. Instead of simply being better than the last the weapons will feature both advantages and disadvantages to the Warrior. This will be achieved through properties or passive abilities on the weapon that modifies the warriors stats or adds some sort of effect. Some weapons can have more attack power but lowers the warriors defence or have fire boosting effects while being weaker than regular with other elemental attacks. 

When you have found a weapon you like we want you to be able to keep using it in combat for as long as you want. For a weapon to stay relevant throughout the game we will have a weapon upgrade/crafting system where the weapon can be boosted and or modified to suit your needs. This system has not been designed fully yet so we will talk more about it later.

GDC Update & Earthlock Ninja Force! & AMA still active

Posted by Snowcastle Games (Creator)
29 likes

GDC Update

We're back from a great trip to GDC in San Francisco and wanted to share some of the stuff that happened with you all!

Frits and I had some great meetings Monday and also popped by the Unity booth to see where we had gotten space to show off Earthlock. Once it was all set up I took another picture of Frits. (It’s a rare thing to capture Frits with such a big smile on his face.)

Monday evening was the only day that week where we got a few hours off, so we went on a walkabout in SF. We stumbled across a statue that we are sure must have been inspired by the desert statues in Earthlock. We also found a really cool building we are considering using as reference art for the game.

Wednesday morning, the show opened and we met with a lot of great people. We spoke to several publishers, a lot of gamers, backers, and other industry people - some of which posed for photos!

Cool people we met: Craig Morrison - Design Department Manager at Blizzard Entertainment - Dan Adams - PR Manager at Unity Technologies - Dan Adelman - Nintendo Online America
Cool people we met: Craig Morrison - Design Department Manager at Blizzard Entertainment - Dan Adams - PR Manager at Unity Technologies - Dan Adelman - Nintendo Online America

Unfortunately, we cannot speak in detail about the meetings we had with the various industry professionals, but hopefully in a few months, we should see the fruits of some of these meetings.

I also visited the awesome people over at Marmoset! They are the ones who make the shaders allowing us to make Earthlock look extra sharp. They had a super cool demo running on several big screens showing the interiors of a spaceship. Inside this spaceship was a computer terminal running Earthlock. Hehe!

This looks to be the big international break through year for the Norwegian Game Industry. It was pretty amazing that of the 40 or so indie booths at GDC Play, seven were Norwegian-based!

Here is a group photo of some of the Norwegian Indie devs at GDC 2014
Here is a group photo of some of the Norwegian Indie devs at GDC 2014

 Snowcastle, Rockpocket, Turbo Tape Games, Rain Games, Krillbite, Moondrop Studio are represented here on this picture. Awesome bunch of devs!

We accidentally stumbled over a really cool booth at GDC where they were showing off the newest in 3D printing. We were astonished by the quality and we are going to do a test print with them now. The above models are in sandstone with extremely high details! Check out their website here: sandboxr.com/

We celebrated the end of GDC by going to 'Off the Grid' - a kind of gourmet food festival. Great weather and fantastic food. So happy, so tired!

Call for volunteers to our 'Earthlock Ninja Force'!

Dear Backers! There are now more than 2500 of you! If you think about it, that’s an amazing number! We are awed and humbled that you have waged your own hard earned money to make sure Eartlock: Festival of Magic is realized. So how about joining our Ninja Force to make the odds even better?

We are now ramping up to boost this campaign well past the funding goal and hopefully reach a few stretch goals.

Please send a mail to bendik@snowcastle.no to sign up. Please list what social media you use.

For once we are not going to talk about rewards as we only want those to join who really want the campaign to succeed.

The above video is a 1 minute teaser for Earthlock that we will be using in our communication with press. Feel free to share it to create interest. 

Here is the plan

Ninja Strikes! With the Ninja Task Force we will systematically work across all social media. We will target games press, forums, bloggers etc and overwhelm them with enthusiasm so more people can get their eyes on Earthlock!

Requirements: You will need to have, or, you will have to sign up for an account with most of the following: Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit etc.

Communications: We will create a dedicated chat forum reserved for our volunteer Ninjas to exchange ideas and coordinate our Ninja Strikes.

What you may expect: You will need to dedicate a minimum of 5-10 min each day the next 14 days to promote the campaign.

The Ask Me Anything is still active - it is not to late!

Click here to go to our AMA on reddit.com

Press

Gamepedia.com has a cool thing going on right now. Check it out, you might be lucky and can help create an object or monster in Earthlock. Direct link (Help us by liking it on FB or Tweet about it)

Project Spotlight

Duelyst

This game looks amazing! Really nice pixel sprites combined with awesome image effects and lighting. Check them out as the game seems like a lot of fun. 

Duelyst is a tactical turn-based strategy game with a heavy focus on ranked competitive play, brought to you by veteran developers and creators from Diablo III, Rogue Legacy and the Ratchet & Clank series. 

http://kck.st/NLR937

Planets³

Planets³ is a 3D open-world voxel-based first person RPG that takes that "open-world" descriptor to an entirely new level and beyond! This project impressed us from the very beginning. Planets³ combines the excitement of role playing with the pleasure of construction and the boundless freedom to roam about in a 3D universe. Planets³ has been designed to promote multi-player gameplay, to share the fun with friends.

http://kck.st/1id1Ncp

IAMA is live.

Posted by Snowcastle Games (Creator)
25 likes

Hey we are doing our AMA as we speak. 
Come join us, hang out and ask us anything. The more the merrier! 

http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/21g8jr/we_are_snowcastle_games_a_norwegian_indie_game/

Gnart wants you to join our AMA. =)
Gnart wants you to join our AMA. =)

AMA on Reddit tomorrow March 26th, 5pm EST

Posted by Snowcastle Games (Creator)
23 likes

50% / $75 000 

We have hit 50%! This is awesome! Thank you all for your support! We will continue to work as hard as we can to spread the word and get this kickstarter funded. We hope you will help us in this cause. Thank you again everyone! 

AMA

We will be doing an AMA on www.reddit.com/r/iama tomorrow Wednesday at 5pm EST (GMT -5). We invite everyone to come on over and ask us anything. Ask us about the game, about the kickstarter project, about developing games in Norway, about our hobbies or anything else at all. 

The more who come and ask questions the better the AMA will be, so tell all you know who might be interested! 

Hope to see you there! =) 

What is an AMA? 
"AMA" is an acronym for "Ask Me Anything", or in this case it will be "Ask Us Anything". AMA is a sort of community interview on reddit.com where you as a user can write a question to our AMA thread and ask us anything at all. We will try and answer most of the questions you have. All questions and answers will be visible for all others in the community to read and enjoy. 

To ask a question all you have to do is create an account on reddit.com (if you haven't already) and go to our thread (we will post a link to it tomorrow 30 minutes before the AMA starts) and write your question in the textfield at the top and click the save button. 

YouTube Videos

Here are some of the channels and videos that have recently showcased our kickstarter/game. Check them out because they are awesome!

Thank you all. We really appreciate it!

Project Spotlight

Toby's Island

This is a charming 2D RPG Adventure for a 90s Nostalgia trip (that is right up our alley!). It is a plot driven game with tons of features such as turn base battles, farming, creature evolution system and puzzles & minigames. They have a few days left and are almost at the goal! Please consider helping them fund their game. =)

New Physical USB Add-on and New Reward Tier!

Posted by Snowcastle Games (Creator)
32 likes

We are closing in on 50% of our goal. As a special treat we have added a new awesome add-on which you can choose for your reward. 

The Spudgun USB Flash Drive!

Concept Art, the final design may differ.
Concept Art, the final design may differ.

This is a Custom Rubber USB Flash Drive modeled after Amons iconic Spudgun which you can see him use to shoot magical harvested ammunition in the demo and in the battle video. It will come preloaded with a DRM free copy of the game for either PC, Mac or Linux depending on your choice. 

To get this custom Flash Drive all you have to do is add $50 to your pledge in the pledge manager and stay on the same tier. Remember to add $5 if you need shipping outside of the USA. You will be able to log into our backerkit once the campaign is over and select which add-ons you want for your pledge. 

Please note that this is not the only DRM Free version. You will still be able to get a DRM free version of the game as a digital download if you choose so. 

New Reward Tier!

You can also get the flash drive through the new reward tier: The FLASH DRIVE tier ($140).
This tier is the same as the Earthlock Sequels tier except that it also contains the Custom USB Flash Drive (International shipping included). 

All Creative Tiers and higher now contains the FLASH DRIVE tier as well!

Check the front page Reward section for a complete overview of what each tier includes. 

Fallen Hero Reward

We also just want to remind everyone of the Fallen Hero reward which is included in the ART BOOK tier. This will add your name to one of the in game Fallen Hero Ghost monsters. These are collectible enemies you can encounter throughout the world of Umbra. Read more about this reward in the reward section on the front page. 

Thank you all for all your support and please help us spread the word about Earthlock and our Kickstarter. Together we will make this game happen! =) 

Shout out

Lastly the Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is in their final hours of their campaign and they have done very well. This is your last chance to get some of the great rewards they are offering: 
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kingartgames/the-book-of-unwritten-tales-2